Saturday, September 29, 2007

Surrendering to Sadness

If we think about most of the stories people present to us we would notice that there are more sad ones than happy ones by a large margin.

Why is that?

Perhaps it is because sadness is more universal than happiness.  Happiness is often thought to be a momentary spark in our normally unhappy lives and almost a form of gloating when we declare that we are happy. Or perhaps we don't want to jinx ourselves by stating we are happy only to have that reversed almost immediately after our statement.

To take a different perspective perhaps working towards happiness as a constant in our lives takes too much effort to establish the habit where as sadness is a surrender to forces beyond our control which is both more acceptable and easier.

Interesting quandary.

Your thoughts?

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Friday, September 28, 2007


I know that I have been guilty and I am pretty certain that most of us have guilty of comparing ourselves with others. When someone does something which others admire we can end up comparing ourselves with them and coming up on the short end of the stick.

Then we can find all kinds of reasons and excuses as why it was not us. Sometimes they are true when they have a particular skill we lack but that often could be overcome if we dedicated our time and effort. Not always if it is a physical skill or conditioning.

But in all cases that comparison is based on accomplishments and recognition and effort. But perhaps there is another basis for comparisons. If we were to base our comparison on our potentiality then we could say that we will never be better than anyone else but also never less than anyone else.

Our potentiality is equal to anyone else and it is our task to find out what that is through knowing ourselves. That exploration leaves no time for useless comparisons.

Your thoughts?

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Cocoons are nature's way of protecting the metamorphous of a butterfly however we tend to use cocoons in a different way. Not for growing into something new and greater than the old self but to protect ourselves from harm.

Every hurt and disappointment that we feel deeply creates a new strand of protection around us to prevent it from happening again. Some might call it a hardening of the heart. It is natural to try and avoid being hurt but at what cost.

When we wrap ourselves in a protective cocoon we lose the ability to feel someone else or ourselves reaching out. When we feel something touch our cocoon it brings to mind our fear of being hurt again and so we reject it and push it away. We will not allow anyone or anything to be that close to us again.

Over time the cocoon instead of a nurturing stage becomes a hardened coffin of our feelings. We are frozen in our personal growth. To grow we need to take the chance of being hurt just like we learned how to walk; with the fear of being hurt but determined to continue until it no longer pains us.

Only by working through our fears can we grow.

Your thoughts?

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007


We get trained early to strive for success. Our kindergarten pictures on the wall of the classroom marked with a star. The A's throughout grade school. Winning recognition for excellence during high school in sports or academics. The scholarships and prestige of attending the right school. The right career.  

We chase our pot of gold under our rainbows running from one to another chasing that elusive prize called success. Some turn bitter as if the juice of life has been sucked out of their existence for the lack of achieving it. Some chase it to the end of their days believing that it is just around the corner.

Some find their pot of gold but it is not what many consider to be success. They find that their relationships transform their lives and provide a richness of joy which is immeasurably better and happier than anything else they have achieved.

So each to their own definition as long as it leads to happiness in their lives.

Your thoughts?

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Contrary Actions

Why do we pretend not to believe things we have actually experienced. You know. When someone who does something contrary to what they normally do. Doing something kind for someone when they are the tough guy on the block. That sort of thing.

We will find any excuse or reason to tell anyone else why we acted that way and dismiss it as a momentary blip in our life. We say to ourselves that is not me whenever it conflicts with our image.

The image we construct is the fiction and it is our actions that bare our truths to ourselves. When we do something that we don't normally do then we need to stop denying it and search for what it means for us. Determine what it is telling us about ourselves to reach a deeper understanding of ourselves.

This is the hero's quest. For a lot of people it is truly an exploration of the unknown.

Your thoughts?

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Monday, September 24, 2007


I was asked the question of whether I believed in reincarnation. I then asked if they meant the Christian sense of reborn in Heaven or Hell, the Buddhist sense of rebirth in the realms of existence, the Muslim sense of paradise, the Hindu sense of earthly realms until they cease to desire  and then reside in the infinite ocean of divinity, and so on.

They replied whatever.

I responded by saying that being reborn is no less surprising than being born once and that I had to wait to find out that answer. However, I said that in all cases, that how and when I would be reborn was dependent on how I lived my life right now.

What I do from moment to moment determines everything.

Your thoughts?

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Actions Define Us

Sometimes we can get hung up on what is going on inside us. We fret about issues that we don't want anyone else to know about because they are contrary to what we think is good.

There is a mistaken belief that if we get angry, wish someone would drop dead or have nasty things happen to them that we are therefore bad people. Nothing is further from the truth.

What stands out about human kind is that we have emotions which arise caused by a multitude of different reasons. it is not possible for us not to get angry, upset, fearful, happy, and so on. Nobody is perfect.

It does not matter what we think or feel inside but what we do that defines us. Accept all our feelings as the price of being human but also accept that it is our responsibility to act appropriately in the midst of our sea of emotions.

Actions define us to ourselves and others not our thoughts.

Your thoughts?

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Friday, September 21, 2007

Our Garden

I like a lot of people had left my garden to grow untended. I allowed stray seeds to drift in on the winds of indecision and lack of understanding and settle in my garden without thought of consequence. There they lay amidst weeds and other seeds to grow if they would without care and nurture unconcerned about the final result.

It slowly dawned on me that the consequence of my lack of concern would be a twisted and snarled result lacking beauty except in isolated pockets through no effort of mine. This forced a new perspective to better manage my life.

A seed is magical as it is full of possibility some good and some bad as determined by how we nurtured it. When we plant a seed such as happiness it has the potentiality to blossom fully or become stunted and malformed into prolonged sadness depending on what care we gave it.

When we don't take time and effort to dig out the weeds they will choke out the life of the seeds we truly want in our lives. As the gardener in charge it is our choice only if we recognize it and decide not only the seeds we want but also to spend the time and effort necessary to grow them to maturity.

Throughout our lives we need to tend our garden carefully rooting out the weeds and dead plants and providing nourishment as needed and appropriate to bring our seeds to luxuriant and vibrant life.

Each garden we see reflects our true self. Does our garden stop visitors to exclaim in wonder or does it cause them to scurry past with downcast eyes.

How does our garden grow?

Your thoughts?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Islands of Self-Importance

Some people always seem unfair to others because their actions are always totally for their own betterment and not in any way for others. Such a person is really an island of their own self-importance. If we dare slight the most important person in their universe. Anything is acceptable to punish us.

Outright lies, insinuation, gossip, verbal abuse, or direct attack are only a few of the ways they will bring you down for daring to slight them. They have allies and behave much like a royal court in that they will have supplicants who seek to curry their favor or just for reflected glory.

Such people use their beauty, power, money, or intimidation to keep their royal court and heaven help anyone who falls out of favor. The punishment is at minimal banishment or can be far worse.

How sad.

When their basis for power has vanished what do they have to show for their lives. Just empty echo's of glory and admiration. Far better to have lived a life that is based on honesty to oneself, empowering relationships and genuine interest in helping others. The rewards are far more enduring and are not subject to the fickle hand of fate.

Your thoughts?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Hurrying to Death

We can spend our lives in one blind hurrying rush into death without one moment to think or reflect on any of the things that give Life meaning or beauty. In fact the one thing that most seniors regret is not taking the time to enjoy and appreciate their relationships as they traveled through their lives.

If we don't take the time now and then to fully appreciate Life in all it's splendor then we will fail to put our lives in their proper context and miss out out the happiness that could be ours.

Failing to raise our heads from the grindstone of life condemns us to slave labor. We will lack meaningful purpose and have our happiness snatched away by the next issue or problem if indeed we obtain any happiness in the first place.

Life is about how we live not about how we toil. Life is the mountains we climb because we choose to and not climbing on someone else's wagon train to a destination that has no real meaning for us.

Take time to enjoy our lives.

Your thoughts?

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Monday, September 17, 2007

Shadow Knowledge

We sometimes think that learning knowledge is enough. Yes knowledge gives us information about things, events, human emotions, and so on that give us a false sense of wisdom.

Wisdom comes from doing and living through the results of our actions and learning from it. Then we truly know. Everything else is but a shadow of the real thing. Nothing wrong with that as anyone who has been burnt by a match or by a stove burner will know that leaping into a fire will hurt big time. We just need to be careful.

Shadow knowledge allows us to make assumptions only and recognize that they are no substitute for the real thing. Take advice with a large shaker of salt unless someone speaks from experience. Similarly we should be careful in giving advice when it contains only abstract knowledge rather than wisdom learnt through experience.

We simply need to recognize when we have shadow knowledge versus real knowledge and act accordingly.

Your thoughts?

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Right Thing

Some people seem to be looking for an audience to appreciate and applaud them for doing the right thing. They wear their good deeds on their sleeves as a type of badge for all to see and will at any opportunity seek to tell others.

It can be a type of insecurity when we need the approval of others to feel good about ourselves or to elevate ourselves over others. We can also keep a list of good deeds without telling anyone else to remind ourselves how good we are. This is no different than bragging about our deeds.

However the true unsung heroes are just quiet individuals who do the right thing simply because it is the right thing to do and then promptly let it go as not important enough to keep track of it.

When we take our needs out of the equation then doing the right thing is simple and direct.

Your thoughts?

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Friday, September 14, 2007

Sometimes This Sometimes That

Who am I is a question that echo's throughout the ages into the present day. It is like trying to nail jello to a plank; it just makes a mess.

We try to think and speak in terms of absolutes. I am this. Then what about that? I am spirit. Then what about form? I am life. Then what about death?

Is it because we fear death that we need to know our life is spent in the proper way so that we will be judged accordingly. No one truly knows through personal experience unless we acknowledge those who speak of reincarnation.

We are as we act. Can we any less or any more?

All I know is that I am sometimes this and sometimes that and it is enough for me to try and live as fully as I can in the present moment without absolutes and leaving the judging to others.

Your thoughts?

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Thursday, September 13, 2007


For some people worry is a constant companion in their life and for them seems to be something that they have to put up with like breathing. They can and do worry about their health, their relationships, their money, their future, their hidden desires and of course those things they don't want anyone else to find out.

Worry can even become such a habit that when we don't have anything to worry about we will create a situation so that we can feel normal again by worrying. The first response we will get from some is that it is necessary to ensure that we anticipate problems so that we can prevent them or minimize them.

Is this true?

If we examine our worry we would find that it is a future event or a what if scenario. There are two things we can do with a future event: take an action right now to change our results or decide that we cannot take any action at this time due to timing or lack of ability to affect the results. In either case continuing to worry solves nothing.

We can only take action in the present moment. Nothing more.

Your thoughts?

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007


We tend to make things confusing when we are discussing issues like morality and ethical behavior. We often think about lifeboat stories where we have to decide on who will be tossed overboard in order to save the rest or we will all die. No simple answer seems to come to mind.

But what is morality? What is it's essence?

How we determine whether given actions are right or wrong or simply what we stand up for.

This is when actions speak louder than words. When someone states they stand for honesty but steals pencils from work or states they are for equality but won't tolerate any contradiction to what they want to do. Which speaks louder action or words.

We can often see many different contradictions where people seem to accept what someone says over what that person is actually doing. We see people turning a blind eye to what is actually being done and then being shocked when it happens to them.

If we need to know what a persons morality is then all we have to do is watch their actions. The same is true for ourselves. Morality is not a debate but our lives in action in every moment whether we are being observed or not.

Your thoughts?

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Guilt as a Habit

Have you noticed that guilt has a way of taking over our life. Strong words you might say and exaggerated. I disagree. We learnt what guilt was when we were children. We were taught that doing or thinking about certain things were wrong and we shouldn't do them.

Sometimes we were given some kind of punishment to enforce the seriousness of our transgression. Sometimes we were made to feel guilt by comparison with others who were less fortunate. Sometimes we were threatened with an eternal punishment.

We learnt well the lessons. We know when we do or think about things that we shouldn't do that we should feel guilty. So we do even when no one else knows about it. We call it temptation and we fight against it.

We can fight so hard and often that it leads to it dominating our thoughts and when we fail and give in to it we can feel we are doomed. We end up carrying the guilt around with us all the time and decide that we cannot defeat it and so we continue to do it. It is not surprising that something we constantly think about does create the very habit that we don't want.

Guilt is a feeling that we get when the result of our actions is contrary to who we believe we are. It is a lesson and not a sentence. We simply need to decide that we will not knowingly take actions that lead to the result we don't want and then let the guilt go away. Period.

Your thoughts?

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Thursday, September 6, 2007

Truth and Belief

We can often be confused about truth and belief. Some people think that truth is some kind of absolute that will be self-evident to everyone. After all what is truth for me must be truth for you.

If not then you are deluding yourself and it becomes our responsibility to lead you to the light because we know what the truth is. There has been a lot of pain and suffering based on this perspective.

How can someone not allow others to think for themselves?

It is because of their beliefs. Beliefs do not require logic, proof, or explanation. We believe because we believe. What does this have to do with truth.

Simply that nothing is true unless we believe it is true. Truth is driven by belief and not the other way around. When we believe we will ignore everything contrary to our beliefs and interpret everything in accordance to those beliefs.

This becomes a closed loop that will feed on it's self until we break the cycle. We break the cycle by allowing that everyone is entitled to their beliefs and truths. We may often disagree but understand that we cannot change someone else's beliefs; only they can.

This requires that we give our perspective not to convince or convert but in order that they may change their own minds. Sometimes it works but often it does not. Then we need to let go of the need to convert them. We need to simply demonstrate our beliefs and truths through our actions.

The choice of change is the one thing that is always ours.

Your thoughts?

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Tuesday, September 4, 2007


Their is one trait that is often undervalued. It keeps the mind open to new ways of thinking, new perspectives, exploration of our abilities, and defines our ability to cope with and manage change.

It is curiosity.

When we are curious about anything we seek ways to satisfy it. It is self-motivated and stops only we are satisfied with what we find. It is not tied to practicality and actually may be of no use other than we wanted to know.

Curiosity is the mother of innovation as we place with pieces of the puzzle just to see if we can discover new ways to put it together. Curiosity doesn't require justification for it's use. It is creativity in action in a way that is fun and delights us.

It answers the question of why with one of why not. It can be a poke in the eye of conformity and flies in the face of normalcy. A good place to be sometimes and can be the founding stones of dreams.

An exercise in imagination and thinking outside the box.

Your thoughts?

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Monday, September 3, 2007

Wrapped Up In Detail

We can easily make the mistake of getting wrapped up in the details. It is not always to our advantage to plan down to the minutest detail before starting any action. 

We need to make sure we have not overlooked any important steps or guidelines for determining direction but not the how. I have found that often my plan for how to get the results I want rarely lasts past my first action.

When we plan down to that much detail we can get locked into tunnel vision or worse when we need to make adjustments to what is going on we hesitate believing our whole plan needs to be rethought.

It can then become a form of procrastination. We need the ability and flexibility to take advantage of opportunities that arise from our actions. As long as we are maintaining movement towards our final destination then how we do it doesn't matter as long as we get there.

Your thoughts?

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Sunday, September 2, 2007

Pick and Choose Emotions

It is amazing how many people believe or teach that we can as reasoning people pick and choose our emotions that we want to keep. It would be nice to eliminate anger, jealousy, hate, pettiness, and all the other negative emotions and desires.

If only we could be happy, joyful, caring, and content all the time we would not be so frustrated and angry with life most of the time. Some would say an admirable goal in life to control our emotions.

Life is not about controlling our emotions but learning to recognize and live with our emotions without giving into them. We could talk about how love conquers all but then we need to recognize that can bring hate, jealousy, violence, and so on.

I don't know about you but I have found that I can't control what emotions arise at all. All I can do is decide how I will live that emotion when it is present. Do I give into it and take actions based on it or do I let it flow through me knowing that it will pass.

We have the choice of how we handle our emotions but not when or how they happen. We can't eliminate them without dehumanizing ourselves so we need to learn how to live with them. An interesting challenge.

Your thoughts?

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Saturday, September 1, 2007

Ghost Relationships

Relationships can be difficult to let go of. We have a tendency towards comparison as if previous relationships are a standard against which to measure our current relationships.

We could call these our ghost relationships. When we have had a bad experience we carry with us what we believe to be lessons from those relationships as warnings to be watched for. We can scrutinize any relationship with an eagle eye to spot the least action that spells disaster for us. We will find it.

When we have had a great relationship that for one reason or another has gone by the wayside we do the same. We can constantly be looking for all the good things we remember from that time to relive those emotions and feelings. We will not find it.

Each and every relationship stands unique by itself. We need to let go of our ghosts from the past and live in the present. Every person is unique in their own right and we should look at each relationship with have in that light.

Our expectations both good and bad denies that uniqueness.

Your thoughts?

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